Infection Control Surveys

CMS announced new regulations this week about how, when, and why investigators conduct an infection control survey. CMS revised the criteria that requires states to conduct the specific surveys, the agency in a memo to state survey agencies. Since June, CMS required states to conduct onsite infection control-focused surveys within three to five days with three or more new cases.

Factors to trigger a survey include:
Multiple weeks with new COVID-19 cases;
Low staffing;
Selection as a Special Focus Facility per Section 1819(f)(8)(B) of the Social Security Act ;
Concerns related to conducting outbreak testing per CMS requirements; or
Allegations or complaints which pose a risk for harm or Immediate Jeopardy to the health or safety of residents. This includes abuse or quality of care (e.g., pressure ulcers, weight loss, depression, decline in functioning).

CMS also noted that long-term care facility surveyors “should be alert to, and investigate any concerns related to residents who have had a significant decline in their condition (e.g., pressure injuries, weight loss, mobility) during the public health emergency.”